This is a page for detailing the many oddballs on Hypnospace. Currently under heavy construction. Watch out for spoilers!
Merchantsoft Employees and Volunteers
- The Dog Bites Back: After tons of abuse is heaped on you by the incompetent and greedy Merchant brothers, you use the unchecked power they gave you as a moderator to hunt down evidence for their crimes and eventually expose them to the world.
- Featureless Protagonist: You're a user of Hypnospace who decided to become an enforcer, and that's all you know. Granted, they're literally supposed to be you, so this makes sense. When Dylan pushes out the Beta of Outlaw and causes a crash, your breathing when you wake up sounds somewhat masculine, but could be taken as either gender.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: There's nothing stopping the player from downloading pirated music and then bringing down the piracy banhammer. It's even subtly encouraged, with this being the only way to collect a few songs.
- Silent Protagonist: Enforcer-tier Merchantsoft modules for Hypnospace are designed to not allow any outgoing communication. Chitchat is banned on the system, and you can't even send emails, with Dispatch and Dylan having to talk to you in a 1-way conversation.
- Spanner in the Works: As the only one who still has a working headband following the Mindcrash, and one of the few to still have a Hypn OS headband at all after the leap into the present day, your mere presence on the Hypnospace Archival Project is this, as said project is ultimately what allows you to uncover Adrian and Dylan's crimes to the world and finally put the mystery behind the Mindcrash to rest.
- Unique Protagonist Asset: As an Enforcer, you have access to Hypnospace users personal information, including their real name, location, and their unique headband ID. That last one comes in handy once you unlock FLST access.
- In the final act, you learn that the Hypnospace hardware provided to Enforcers inexplicably has enough onboard memory to cache the entire service several times over, which becomes your ultimate goal as a new member of the Hypnospace Archival Project. Its suggested that you might be the only Enforcer who didnt trash their module after the Mindcrash, but youre definitely the first one to reconnect after the founding of the HAP.
The COO of Merchantsoft and the lead programmer for Hypnospace. He's fairly quirky but well-meaning, and views Hypnospace as a passion project that will revolutionize the world.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: A variant. While he seems composed and kind at first, it soon becomes clear he's very immature. Upon exposing him as one of the ringleaders of FLIST, he freaks out and bans you for five weeks.
- Bad Boss: He's the head of the programming side of Hypnospace, and is your boss. He cares quite a lot about the service and wants to push it forward as the next step in technology. However, he is too focused upon the technology side of things, and neglects the social and ethical responsibilities that come with his position. An early example is if you report the Harassment on DarkTwilightTiff's page: Samantha correctly points out that Tiff was reposting Harassment directed towards her, and therefore shouldn't accrue the penalty points (as if she was the culprit). Dylan's response is a big shrug, because Hypnospace doesn't have the functionality to report other users. Dylan's incompetence and lack of care for safety ultimately turns him into the Big Bad when he pushes a buggy build of Outlaw to live, and then blames the resulting deaths on an innocent kid.
- Big Bad: Since Adrian barely has much direct influence over what's going on in Hypnospace, Dylan effectively serves as the main overarching antagonist, which comes to a head in the final act.
- Final Boss: Although he's never directly confronted, Dylan does serve as the final challenge the player must overcome in the last act before the game can be considered "over".
- Hypocrite: He expects everyone to follow the Enforcer C.H.I.M.E laws to the very letter, and yet that doesn't stop him from being one of FLIST's founders, nor does it deter him from hosting pirated copies of music albums on his personal FLIST page. He even goes so far as to revoke your Enforcer privileges for using his own laws against him at the end of Act 2.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Dylan is somewhat difficult to work with. His first launch of Outlaw bricks your system, his QA management is poor to nonexistent, and he focuses more on Outlaw than fixing the numerous issues with Hypnospace. He even endorses Hypnospace's piracy servers himself, and constantly undermines the player during the second half of the game with his antics.
- My Greatest Failure: The Mindcrash was his doing, and upon being exposed, he admits that it's made him guilty for years. Outlaw version 1.0 seems to be some kind of a memorial for the victims of the event.
- Zero-Effort Boss: His avatar in the final version of Outlaw doesn't have anything between you and it and barely puts up much of a fight. Justified; at this point, Dylan's already been cornered by you and Samantha and he's no longer willing to put up a fight, having been weighed down by the guilt of having caused the Mindcrash for years.
The CEO of Merchantsoft, and Dylan's brother. Adrian is the more business-minded of the two. As such, his influence on the development of Hypnospace is generally limited to behind-the-scenes work, like hiring new employees, and you rarely interact with him directly.
- The Ghost: Compared to the rest of Merchantsoft. His personal page is simply a picture of himself and a small blurb telling anyone who wants to contact him to "look [him] up in the white pages."
- Hopeless with Tech: He barely understands Hypnospace and leaves Dylan to do pretty much all the technical stuff. Which leads to tragedy later on, as Adrian assumes Dylan know's what he's doing.
- Jerk Jock: Of a sort. In the leaked chat logs, he's vocally disdainful of Hypnospace's geekier population, downplays said population's content in favor of pushing sports, and complains about the "big words" in the results of the scientific study that Merchant Soft commissioned. He also seems quick to anger, sending you an angry, insulting message if you choose to report Professor Helper.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: His Hypnospace communications are rife with spelling and grammatical errors, and his desire for the service not to be overpopulated by nerds leads Dylan to merge several "geeky" Zones into one, necessitating the creation of the Freelands. Later, becomes actually dangerous when his own incompetence with tech and blind trust in Dylan's abilities leads directly to the Mindcrash.
A recent hire at Merchantsoft, Samantha is an up-and-coming young programmer newly assigned to the HypnOS Year 2000 Update. She designed the HypnoCure antivirus suite, which you will likely find yourself using at some point.
- Big Good: Of the present-day portion of the final act, alongside Re3ckoning in the past. Re3ckoning found the evidence that the Hypnospace headband is hazardous to the user's health, and that the Merchants knew this, but couldn't spread the news quickly enough. Nineteen-plus years later, Samantha tasks you with finding this long-buried evidence, and even upgrades your CHIME bar with a sixth rule that sends said evidence directly to her, to help build her case.
- Chekhov's Gun: HypnoCure Pro costs a fortune, and you will probably notice this very early on when you buy the Lite version, but its safe-mode feature lets you access the glitchy NetSettler pages and m1nx's forum.
- Mission Control: As if working on Hypnospace itself wasn't enough, she soon becomes the only dispatcher assigning cases to Enforcers. Even moreso in the final act, at which point she's only got you to help her find incriminating evidence against Dylan.
- Noodle Incident: Her personal page mentions that an event involving the band Satellite Orchestra led to her landing her job at MS, but dismisses the rest as a long story and never elaborates.
- Only Sane Man: Is she ever! Samantha is by far the most level-headed employee at Merchantsoft, and her skills speak for themselves in the simple-yet-functional interface(s) of HypnoCure. It's implied that part of the reason she co-founded the Hypnospace Archival Project was that she knew there was something fishy about the Mindcrash incident, and wanted to find a way to dig deeper.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Dylan shoved all the Enforcer work onto her because she kept nagging him (i.e. reminding him about doing his actual job, instead of spending all of his time on his pet project, Outlaw).
- Stepford Smiler: Her page is written in an excessively cheery tone, constantly talking about how great it is to work for Merchantsoft, but in her private communications to you as HSPD dispatcher she is more frank about the issues she has to deal with. After the Mindcrash the player gets a clearer picture of her concern during the last weeks of Hypnospace for Dylan's lack of QA on the software updates and how frustrated she was to be shoved into HSPD for trying to raise issues.
- Spanner in the Works: If not for her giving you your Enforcer privileges back after Dylan forcefully removes you from active duty, Dylan would've very well gotten away with what follows his latest attempt to push Outlaw onto Hypnospace.
- Walking Spoiler: Yuuuuup.
The multi-talented artist hired by Merchantsoft to create Hypnospace's unique design (most prominently, that spiffy rotating-eye logo on your desktop).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Artie is very good at what he does, but he's also a bit...out there.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: His page wouldn't look out of place from the Open Minded zone. His bio on the HAP pages comes in the form of bizarrely formatted poems.
- Nice Guy: Doesn't seem malicious or greedy; he insists that Adrian practice breathing exercises to calm his nerves.
- Out of Focus: Aside from being a part of the HAP project, he does the least out of the rest of the Merchantsoft staff, aside from the ones that are The Ghost.
A former 80s-era rock star better known as "The Chowder Man". Erick regularly performs songs for different companies, including Merchantsoft, but is seeking to take the world by storm again with his new band, KRUNCHER.
- An Arm and a Leg: The helicopter crash at Coolfest '99 costs him one of his legs.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Chowder Man has a legitimate talent for writing jingles. If Granny Cream doesn't get stuck in your head whenever you hear it, you might not have a soul.
- He's Back: KRUNCHER was going to be his big return to the rock scene as a full-time endeavor as opposed to his smaller licensed jingles. This doesn't last long thanks to the helicopter accident that claims his leg and his drummer.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The helicopter crash at Coolfest '99, which not only took his leg, but killed his drummer, causes him to retire in a depressive slump. Though finding the lyrics to a song he was writing to rekindle himself is one of the objectives in the Lost and Found.
Jas is a democratic socialist software engineer from San Francisco who runs a page reviewing the various software available for HypnOS.
- Ambiguous Gender: Jas' full name is given as "Jasmine" but they exclusively use the short form. Given that Jas' portrait depicts a figure that appears to be male (or androgynous) and use of the LGBT-related HS_Lifestyles tag, Jas may be transgender or non-binary.
Tamara is a recent college graduate who's trying to juggle her love of poetry with her telemarketing career.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She isn't involved with the story at all until the time skip to the present day, where she's a founding member and the main financial benefactor of the Hypnospace Archival Project.
- Young Future Famous People: She becomes a well-known author during the 1999 to present day time skip.
Abby is an elementary school teacher from Florida and one of the first users the player hits with C.H.I.M.E violations.
- Warm-Up Boss: Although she's not the only one guilty of copyright infringement violations during Act 1, Abigail's page serves as an overall introduction to how the player's job as a Hypnospace Enforcer works (apart from the actual in-game tutorial), with fairly obvious violations you can easily pick out for quick and easy HypnoCoin.
Sandy is a retired school guidance counsellor from Florida, and as her name implies is an "empty nester" who is enjoying retirement with her husband and dog. She is a good friend of Abby's so she also gets mixed up in the Gooper Gumshoe issue. At the start of the game Sandy is being nominated by her fellow Goodtime Valley citizens as the new Community Leader for the zone.
- Cassandra Truth: She tries to reason with the users in Goodtime Valley that there's no sense in continuing to fight the enforcers over something that's most likely being protected by an estate, and even attempts to assure everyone that Beefbrain is all just a very elaborate hoax. Nobody believes her in both cases, even though she's absolutely correct on both counts.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Trying to be the voice of reason over the Stand With Gooper issue causes the rest of Goodtime Valley to turn against Sandy, costing her all of the support she had gathered for becoming the next community leader. By the end of December, she feels so frustrated and alienated that she decides to not renew her Hypnospace subscription.
- Only Sane Man: Compared to everyone else in Goodtime Valley, Sandy seems to have the most level head on her shoulders. While initially on Abby's side when the player starts issuing copyright strikes, she seems to have wised up over the course of the first Time Skip; she reasonably concludes that getting angry at the enforcers for simply doing their job is not worth getting in further trouble. She also (correctly) deduces that Beefbrain isn't a real condition and was made up. Both times she's soundly ignored.
- Team Mom: She is a genuinely kind person who cares about her fellow Goodtime Valley residents. One of her main hobbies is making "Sandy Cards", personalized greeting card webpages, dedicated to fellow citizens.
A surly old businessman that runs the "RR Ranch" store who is...quite enthusiastic about his country.
- Red Scare: He frames the removal of Gumshoe Gooper as a communist plot by Merchantsoft.
- Invented Individual: He's a prank by M1nx.
- Little Known Facts: His "Did You Know" page has a few of these, all quite obviously false. Did you know that helium makes balloons too slippery for gravity to hold onto?
- Sensory Abuse: His "birthstone song" is cringe-inducingly bad and butchers the pronunciations (e.g. "periscope" instead of "peridot").
- Totally Radical: Ronnie in a nutshell; he's trying so hard to be cool, but mostly comes off as a lame guidance counselor.
Tiff is a teenage girl who enjoys writing interactive horror stories called "Scaries". Shortly before the game begins, she starts a friendship with Tim and collaborates with him on a few Scaries.
- Embarrassing Nickname: She doesn't like Tim's nickname for her, Marshmellow. Tim, having No Social Skills, can't take the hint.
- Goth: A writer of "scaries", fascinated with the morbid and dark.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the unfortunate casualties of the Mindcrash...and sadly, you can't save her.
- Mistaken for Romance: A lot of people assume she's in a relationship with Tim, a possibility she explicitly rejects. To Tim's disappointment, this never changes.
Tim is a misanthropic and intelligent teenager with far too much time on his hands. He primarily loves to cause trouble by making annoying, but harmless, viruses to screw with other Hypnospace citizens.
- Climax Boss: Twice, and both instances coming right before major developments in the plot; the final case of Act 1 has you dealing with his True Tranquility virus and those infected by it, while Act 3 in its entirety has you facing off against the Mindcrash virus he created. Ironically, despite being a major challenge the player has to overcome, he's not the cause of both crashes that happen right after.
- The Cracker: Skirts the border between this and Playful Hacker; he never deliberately causes real damage, but annoyance and terror greatly amuse him, he writes (non-destructive but annoying) viruses, and he's perfectly happy to overcharge for FLST passwords and mock his customer.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes two decades, several people dying in the Mindcrash (one of them including the girl he had a crush on), and him going to prison for six years, but by the end of the game, Tim becomes a well-adjusted, Happily Married man who is ultimately absolved of the crime he was accused of thanks to the player's efforts.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: He's not a terrible guy underneath the effort to imitate the swagger of M1nx.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Everything he does, he does for the approval of M1nx and/or Tiff.
- Just Friends: With Tiff, to his constant disappointment. His unrequited romantic interest eventually scuttles their friendship.
- Leitmotif: If he's not being associated with his self-made track "Leeches", then he and his viruses tend to be heralded by "Trial of the Festering Egg", also made by Tim himself.
- No Social Skills: He's a legitimately talented hacker, enough to snatch passwords from M1nx, but when it comes to people he's hopeless.
- Recurring Boss: Encountered (as in "directly involved in the plot") twice over the course of the story; once toward the end of Act 1 and essentially serves as the primary antagonist during Act 3.
- The Scapegoat: Dylan's insistence on pushing Outlaw out onto Hypnospace before it was ready was the real culprit behind the Mindcrash incident; Tim's Mindcrash virus just accidentally provided the perfect cover.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He eventually gets less abrasive, particularly the side of him that we see in his note to Tiff meant to accompany "deactivating" the Mindcrash and his adult self after the time skip.
A real asshole all-around, but that's just how some kids turn out. When he's not harassing other users in Teentopia, he is writing self-insert fancomics about his favorite numetal band.
- Fan Dumb: In universe, to the Dumpster. His attempt to imitate their caustic style earns him a Medal of Dishonor.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Hilariously, if one pays attention to the headband ID associated with his girlfriend's page, it's the same ID number as Zane's own page. That is, if the content of the page wasn't enough to give it away already.
- Jerkass: Enough of one that he may end up banned. Nobody likes Zane. Even The Dumpster breaks their don't target people under 18 rule to call him out.
- Killed Off for Real: Potentially one of the fatalities in the Mindcrash. Potentially being the keyword here; if you can get him banned from Hypnospace by flagging his account in November and on New Year's Eve, he will be disconnected before the Mindcrash and will survive.
- Leitmotif: Often associated with "Nothing Left for Me" by fictional band Seepage.
- Not So Different: From Corey. Their treatment of each other is similarly cruel and puerile, they both try to pull the same Girlfriend in Canada trick, they both harass Tiff, and they both sour on SquisherZ for the same reason.
- Sarcasm-Blind: Proudly displays his Medal of Dishonor from the Dumpster. Later on in Act 2, he attempts to claim that he knew it was a trick, despite all evidence proving otherwise.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: A bizarre inversion. By being Hypnospace's biggest jerk, it's possible that he may wind up getting banned - which ironically saves him from dying to the Mindcrash.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Whereas Abigail was the warm-up act for the player, Zane's harassment violations will teach you a quick but pertinent lesson if you're gonna get very far in progressing Hypnospace Outlaw's plot in that violations aren't always going to have the same ease of access or identification as the whole Gooper Gumshoe debacle did; from here on, picking up on violations will rely pretty heavily on the player's intuition and observational skills.
A dorky, overweight kid who plays tuba in band class. He is Zane's primary bullying target.
- Adorkable: He tries to present himself this way on his page, with cheesy jokes and self-deprecating humor. His actual personality is not endearing.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He tries to come off as friendly and polite most of the time, but he doesn't have much actual regard for people.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Just like Zane, he makes a sockpuppet account claiming to be his own girlfriend. His attempt is slightly more convincing than Zane's, since he tries to give her a personality beyond "gushes about her boyfriend", but the headband ID's being identical gives them away.
- Seemingly as a nod to this trope, the headband data says the location of "her" account as Alberta, Canada.
- Jerkass: Corey may be the target of Zane's insulting comics, but he's not much better himself.
- Karma Houdini: Corey's every bit as bad as Zane is, but unlike Zane, who can actually get banned if he racks up enough violations, Corey doesn't get hit with nearly enough violations to send him packing permanently from Hypnospace, especially after harassing Tiff.
- Kick the Dog: He's nasty towards Zane, but at least had the excuse that Zane mocked him first. Corey has no excuse for harassing Tiff.
- Leitmotif: "Night Out" by Tuba Buffet.
- AstroTurf: It is heavily implied that Coolpunk was actually a really niche thing with "a few kids being weird online" and Merchantsoft attempted to make it seem bigger as part of a promotional campaign with the cola company.
- Deader Than Disco: After Coolfest '99, where Chowder Man's drummer and others are injured by a helicopter crash and Fre3zer, the leading figure of the Coolpunk movement, is found out to be lip-syncing.
- Genre-Killer: See above.
A notable critic and composer who hangs out in Coolpunk Paradise.
- Caustic Critic: Not so much in the first act... but after Coolfest '99, he really cranks up the biting ridicule - as the below trope demonstrates - to unacceptable levels.
- Kick the Dog: Following the disastrous fallout of Coolfest '99, he begins mocking various figures related to the Coolpunk movement, which get pretty scathing up until he begins to shout down the Chowder Man. Not only does he not show concern about the fact that Erick lost a leg in the helicopter crash, but he goes as far as to mock his recently deceased drummer and gleefully celebrates the fact that Erick has been forced into retirement. The player can, in turn, sack his page with harassment violations and flag him for investigation.
Sovereign Alliance of Imagination/The Freelands
- Butt-Monkey: The entire zone is one, given their constant mistreatment by Merchantsoft. Their diverse geek communities are forcibly amalgamated, their pages are moved to the oldest and slowest server, and then Merchantsoft deletes half of their data during the Y2K update. Then the final insult: the company steals their idea of putting pages on a map rather than a list for their new "Realms of Mythia" zone after driving the original community away.
- The Ghost: There is one member of the Freelands that ends up being banned entirely because his page is in an old format that comes out as glitchy on Hypnospace; even with the anti-virus Safe Mode his page doesn't tell much about him.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Merchantsoft deletes half the content from the Freelands (either maliciously or in an attempt to fix what they themselves broke) everyone packs up and leaves for the gamer-focused alternative CyberworldZ.
- Secret Level: R3ckoning is also a member of the Freelands and is hiding tools and (later) evidence of the harmful medical effects of Hypnospace in a secret island off the Freelands' main page.
One of the Hypnospace developers who is a huge fan of "Taurus and Muelta", an in-universe comic book. He joins with the rest of the Freelands after Hypnospace removes their zones.
- Climax Boss: The final (real) challenge of Act 2; finding and flagging his Axxelerator software requires a lot of rooting around in the Freelands, reveals quite a bit of details surrounding his involvement in Merchantsoft's dealings, and all of this comes right before the player finds out about Dylan's own duplicity toward his own rules, the latter of which leads to the act's proper end.
- Killed Off for Real: One of the fatalities of the Mindcrash, and he cannot be saved.
- Token Good Teammate: Openly rebels against his fellow developers to join the revolt of several users and hosts an illegal program. He also snuck in a secret un-zip function for a particular file type in the Hypnospace virtual pets.
Other Hypnospace Users
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each m1nx member posts with a distinct text color and font.
- Big Good: They're the one that discovers evidence of Merchantsoft's flaws, and finding their work is needed to beat the final act.
- The Cracker: While Re3ckoning doesnt directly attack the service like Tim, theyre probably the most traditionally malicious hacker on Hypnospace, having created allseeing3y3 to hide m1nx-related information, and Dreamtoolz, a debugging suite that can be used to subvert the HypnoCoin system and illegally download a websites embedded music, amongst other features.
- Crying Wolf: They're the hacker behind the Beefbrain prank, claiming that the Hypnospace headband causes brain damage. They later find out that Merchantsoft is actually covering up evidence that Hypnospace causes brain damage. The previous prank, unfortunately, means few believe anything they have to say.
- Good Is Not Nice: They are extremely abrasive, especially to Dylan when he shows up on m1nxs forum uninvited, but their heart is in the right place, and they try to do the right thing when they discover something that could potentially cause real harm to Hypnospace users.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Most of their asshole behavior is directed at Dylan or Merchantsoft in general, who is completely deserving of it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: They leave Hypnospace after attempting to post their findings around Hypnospace's public page.
- The Stool Pigeon: They ultimately bring about Merchantsoft and Hypnospace's downfall when they play whistleblower by leaking evidence of the dangers of sleeptime computing.
- You Have to Believe Me!: Downplayed. When trying to warn Hypnospace at large about the brain damage the Hypnospace headbands cause, they use scary music, bright colors and apocalyptic language — it looks, in short, like the kind of prank their group has played before. They did provide evidence, but it was erased by Merchantsoft.
- Caustic Critic: They run The Dumpster, which is a mockery site along the lines of Something Awful. As such, they kinda match up to SAs creator Lowtax, but dumpy isnt shown interacting directly with their sites targets in the way that made Lowtax (in)famous.
- Everyone Has Standards: Tries to avoid making fun of kids on the Dumpster; they only make an exception for Zane because he's just that bad of a person. They also avoid lingering too much on the deadly helicopter accident at Coolfest '99, and instead focus on making fun of the other underwhelming aspects of the event. That said, they are a little less sensitive about it when discussing the article on the m1nx forum.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: On New Years Eve, they leave a message saying that theyre taking a break from the Dumpster, Hypnospace, and negativity in general, and suggests that others do the same. Its possible that this was a deliberate attempt to save others who wouldn't get to or believe Re3koning's heavily C.H.I.M.E'd warning.
- The Man Behind the Man: Created Counselor Ronnie as a joke.
- Reverse Mole: Everyone in m1nx is clued into Merchantsofts internal workings at least second-hand, being hackers and all, but Jezz0 in particular indicates that they are a salaried employee.
- Worthy Opponent: Upon learning that Counselor Ronnie doesnt exist, Dylan Merchant is legitimately impressed with Jezz0s work and congratulates them. It probably helps that Ronnie earned Merchantsoft a federal grant.